Bytes: Mobile search takes Gold

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week we look at mobile search, Tesco’s new interactive billboards and the continuing feud between Apple and Google…

Mobile search takes Gold

It’s not just Team GB that’s been topping the podium at the London Olympics; it’s also mobile search. The 2012 Games is the first worldwide sporting event of the smartphone age and with events taking place at all times of the day internet users have taken to their mobile and tablet devices to keep up with the latest news. Google is reporting that during the first two days of the Games, tablet searches accounted for almost 50 per cent of overall search queries, with Japan seeing the most activity (55 per cent). In the United States, 47 per cent of overall search queries came from a mobile or tablet device, while in the UK the figure was at 46 per cent. Taking Paul McCartney’s performance at the Opening Ceremony as a case study, Google write on their blog: “Whether watching the Olympics at home on TV or on a desktop livestream, or at a bar with friends, users  searched on one screen for things they saw happening on another screen. Comparing searches by device type, smartphone searches surged, and in the US, viewers were searching almost as much on their tablets as on their computers for Paul McCartney.” A full infographic, featuring more facts and stats, can be seen here.

Tesco launch interactive billboards

Tesco has unveiled new billboards at Gatwick Airport that allow customers to buy their shopping digitally. Looking like interactive fridges, the boards can be hand-scrolled and allow users to browse through 80 of Tesco’s most popular products. The user then adds the products they wish to buy to their shopping basket by scanning them with Tesco’s smartphone app and selects a day they would like the shopping to be delivered to their home. “E-commerce is increasingly important for our multichannel offering and this is about responding to the wider use of smartphones among our customers,” said Tesco’s internet retailing director Ken Towle. “As a business we plan to try out lots of new things to work out which are the good ideas and which ones customers want to use. We want to try and improve consumer access to Tesco using mobile.” Tesco launched similar billboards in South Korea’s subway system last year and so far they have accounted for over 55,000 transactions.

YouTube suffers as Apple/Google feud continues

The divide between Apple and Google grew further this week as it was revealed that the tech giant will remove its YouTube app from all its mobile devices. The video site has been one of the primary applications on Apple products since 2007, but the rollout of iOS 6 later this year will bring that run to an end. “Their two ecosystems are pulling away from each other,” Carl Howe, an analyst at Yankee Group, is quoted as saying on The Drum. “This is two companies agreeing they just don’t want to work together anymore.” YouTube will still be available on iOS devices via Safari and Google are working on their own YouTube app that is set to be available through Apple’s app store. A spokesman for the company said: “We are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users.”

Direct marketing spend on the rise

Direct marketing is estimated to grow by around 7 per cent this year, according to new data collected by the Direct Marketing Association. Digital spend is thought to be behind the growth, with £2.5bn expected to be spent on email marketing, £2.2bn on social media marketing and £516m on search advertising. Chris Combermale, executive director of the DMA, said: “While the UK remains mired in a protracted recession, the creative industries are among the few that are performing strongly, with direct marketing in particular making an outstanding contribution to the UK economy. The industry is bucking the prevailing trend with increases in overall expenditure and employment figures forecast for 2012.” The DMA survey polled 600 UK companies and more information can be seen here.

2012’s social media winners and losers

We’re over halfway through the year, so Ignite Social Media have put together an infographic to see how 2012 is affecting social media sites’ popularity. The company has found that interest in social networks has actually fallen slightly, to its lowest rate since mid-2008. Unsurprisingly, Pinterest is the most popular network with women, while Dribbble is most popular among men. Meanwhile, it’s been a good year for Tumblr and Twitter, with both seeing massive rises during 2012. The full infographic can be seen at Ignite Social Media’s website.